The Keeping Power of The Father and the Son

#394  The Keeping Power of The Father and the Son Part 1

“And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee.  Holy Father, keep them which Thou hast given me in Thy name, that they may be one are we are.”  John 17:11 NASB  “While I was with the, I kept them true to Thy name—the name which Thou hast given me to bear—and I kept watch over them….”  John 17:12 Weymouth

Jesus prayed that we would be guarded and protected in order that we may be one as he and the Father were one.  His beloved followers were kept, protected, and guarded throughout his ministry on earth, and after that they were kept and protected from heaven, with the same intent to make us one.  We see this keeping power of Jesus ministry especially in his last hours.  We and all our Brethren who read and experience these Gospel records are also blessed by the power of his guarding protection through his teachings and example.  Here are some examples of this keeping power exercised with the intention of creating intimate unity between us as Brethren.

He guards us from competition with one another, from the drive to prove ‘I am better than you,’ from any air of judgment and superiority.  “And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of the was regarded to be greatest.”  Luke 22:24-27

John 13:1-5  He guards and protects us by demonstrating the beautiful humility that delights to give and serve according to the need.  “He loved them to the end.”  John 13:1b  He guarded and protected us by demonstrating a faithful love to the uttermost, a love that would do anything to fulfill the will of the Father for our blessing.

A deep and urgent longing swept over Jesus, a desire to assure them of his love and commitment to them, an unfailing love that had proved itself during their three and one half years together, a love that would continue faithful in the darkness and chaos of the hours and years to come, a desire to equip them for the difficult times ahead.  He saw clearly the authority that would be his, for the Father had put all things in his hands.  He was sure of his origin as the only begotten Son of God, the Word (Logos) or expression of His Fathers word and will, and he was sure of the unspeakable joy and glory that would be his upon his return to his Father’s house.  John 13:1-3  And so he rose, slowly and deliberately.  He removed his cloak and his tunic, as a slave would have done, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  The splash of water being poured into a large copper basin was the only sound heard in the suddenly silent room, as every eye fastened on the Master.  They watched, sensing he was about to do something quite different than the traditional washing of hands.  He knelt by each disciple’s feet, washed them, and then dried them with the towel that was wrapped around him.  John 13:4-5

“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. I have you an example that you also should do as I did to you.  Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master…”  John 13:14-16a

He knew who he was; He knew his cause to bless first his followers and then the whole human family, the purpose of  the Father giving all things into his hands. John 13:4  John 12:32  Out of that conviction, and out of the love in his heart he gave according to the need.

I know who I am in Christ; his cause is my own.  I will give according to the will of my Father.

O LORD, make us willing to go to any lengths, in awe and in honor of the heights and lengths and depths and breadths of Your love as reflected in the extremity of love in the sacrifice of our Precious Savior.

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She Has Done What She Could

Mary’s eyes moved from Lazarus to Jesus to Martha and back to Jesus again.  He had given them so much.  Life from the dead for the brother she loved, and words of life for their hungry hearts.  Mary’s eyes searched the face of the man she believed to be the Messiah.  She recognized the love that always shone from it.  But she also sensed a somber mood, a preoccupation with something very serious.  She had heard Jesus describe what would happen to him in Jerusalem.  Things that others had dismissed as symbolic she took to heart.  She was fully aware of the power of the Sanhedrin and the degree of danger that confronted Jesus.  She had heard of how his mood had changed and how often he spoke of frightful things that would soon happen in the Holy City.

The reality of his death pierced through her heart.  How she would miss him, how she longed to express her gratitude for all that he was and all that he had done.  How she wished to honor his sacrifice, a death that she could not fully understand.  She decided at that moment that it was time.

Mary held the rare and valuable pound of perfumed oil, a gift she had saved for a long time.  She rose from her place, walked to where Jesus reclined at the table, and knelt by his feet.  She anointed the oil on his feet and then she bent close to the ground and wiped his feet with her hair.  The fragrance of the perfume filled the house as the room slowly became entirely silent.  All eyes were fixed on Mary and then on Jesus.

“Why was this perfume wasted?  It could have been sold for a year’s wages.”  It was the quietly indignant voice of Judas.  “Why wasn’t this money given to the poor?”

Mary froze in her bent over position at Jesus feet.  Then slowly she knelt upright.  She looked to Jesus, and then cast her eyes to the earthen floor.

“Leave her alone,” Jesus spoke a sharp rebuke as his eyes swept the room and rested briefly on Judas.  He felt deep anger and sadness in his heart as her heard Judas criticize the act of love he had just witnessed.  He knew that Judas concern was not for the poor, but for his own personal benefit.  Jesus knew that he frequently stole from the treasury purse for which he was responsible.  “The poor you will have with you for the rest of your lives.  But I will not always be with you.”  He looked straight into Mary’s face and his voice softened.  “She has done what was in her power to do.  She has saved this perfume to honor the day of my burial.”  Mary dared to raise her eyes from the floor to her Master’s face.  The troubled look in her eyes melted into peace and joy.  Her gift had been accepted, and cherished.

He has deep appreciation for what we pour out to him from our hearts.

Hear his appreciation in the face of misunderstanding and criticism from others.

GIVE this appreciation to our Brothers and Sisters as we each offer what is in our ability.

And when the voice of the accuser is strong, let us hear the voice of Jesus:  Leave her alone:  she is doing what is in her power to do.

I will focus on the voice of Jesus and do what is in my power to do!